Try as they might, the Cleveland Cavaliers may be running out of excuses to cover up the Kyrie Irving issue. Just recently, team owner Dan Gilbert and new general manager Koby Altman explained that the Kyrie-LeBron (James) rift is overblown but it doesn’t seem to appear that way.

The latest on that is Kyrie has remained incommunicable, likely indicating that Irving’s trade demands are for real. The all-star guard recently went to China but never touched on his trade demands, not to mention the real score between him and James.

Will trip change his mind?

There are two ways to look at Irving’s current state. One is that he is thinking and the other is that he really wants out. Right now, it seems more of the latter though Gilbert and company are still expecting him when Training Camp opens.

Awkward as that may sound, these expectations may be nothing more than to divert the attention and the current (troubled) state the Cavs really find themselves in.

They did manage to get Derrick Rose, signing him to a one-year deal. While most consider that as a factor for Irving to reconsider, others see it as insurance in the event that Irving is finally traded.

Rose is not the solution, problem is James

The real problem here is the relationship between Irving and James.

When word of a trade request came out, the understanding was that he didn’t want to play under LeBron’s shadow.

Overblown as they claim, the jab by Gilbert and Altman hardly changed the belief that Irving is practically good as gone. He has indicated his preferred destinations – San Antonio Spurs or Minnesota Timberwolves among others.

It seems pretty clear Irving wants to play without boundaries and lead other guys who he can handle.

Cavs may have overlooked the demotion

One thing that Gilbert and Altman may be overlooking is the great demotion Irving had to endure. When James left, Irving was the guy tasked to restore order. He seemed well on his way to doing that until James decided to return.

Emphatic as it may have seen at first, egos were hurt. From “The Guy”, Irving ended up playing second fiddle. Some may call out Irving for such but the fact remained he kept the Cavs afloat when James jumped ship.

He may have played along, maxing out his patience. All that may have died down when the Cavs won the NBA title in 2016. But their recent loss to the Golden State Warriors may have been too much already – proving that the Cavs effort of putting together a super team was going nowhere.

Hence, it may be a hard reset for Irving (and technically the Cavs). The continued ignorance is clear, Irving is thinking of something. It could be a trade or perhaps finding the right approach to take it all back.